New York Giants: Top 15 first-round draft picks all-time
By Henry Buggy
The Giants pulled off a blockbuster trade in the first round of the 2004 NFL Draft, landing their future franchise quarterback Eli Manning.
Former Giants general manager Ernie Accorsi wanted to take Manning with the No. 4 overall pick, but had planned to take Ben Roethlisberger if the Ole Miss quarterback was not available, according to the New York Post.
The Giants ended up striking a deal with the then-San Diego Chargers, selecting Philip Rivers and then trading him, a third-round pick in 2004, and first and fifth-round picks in 2005 for Manning.
Big Blue’s 37-year-old quarterback will be entering his 15th season with the franchise in 2018. Manning is a four-time Pro Bowler and two-time Super Bowl MVP. He holds every notable quarterback record with the Giants, including wins (111), yards (51,682), and touchdowns (339). He also has taken the most losses (103) and has thrown the most interceptions (228) in franchise history, according to Pro Football Reference.
Manning has been the definition of an iron man for the Giants, starting 210 consecutive games for Big Blue. The streak only ended because Ben McAdoo wanted to play Geno Smith. No, that did not end well, as that was McAdoo’s last game as the Giants head coach. He would be fired after losing to the Oakland Raiders.
Despite constant criticism behind one of the league’s worst offensive lines in recent years, Manning has continued to show his true colors. He has been the ultimate team player and won the Walter Payton Man of the Year award in 2016.
While Manning has struggled to stay consistent during the regular season, he has proven himself a clutch performer in the postseason. He holds an 8-4 record in the playoffs and has thrown 18 touchdowns to nine interceptions in the postseason.
Some may call his pass to David Tyree in Super Bowl XLII luck, but the same can’t be said for his pass to Mario Manningham in Super Bowl XLVI. Manning may not have a first-ballot Pro Football Hall of Fame resume, but No. 10 will undoubtedly find himself in Canton some day.
His career numbers and postseason play make him the greatest quarterback in Giants history.